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Enough Is Enough Part 2

French Cooperation Minister Alain Joyandet has urged the United Nations to investigate the dominant U.S. role in the relief operation, arguing that international aid efforts were supposed to be helping Haiti, not “occupying” it.

Lambert at Corrente posted most of an article by Ben Ehrenreich at Slate that is a classic of ignorance and stupidity.

People don’t understand what the military means by “command and control”, and assume it is some sort of fascist military plot. “Command and control” is part of everyday life, but civilians tend to use terms like: communications, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration.

You see “command and control” when you drive in the form of traffic signs and signals. You depend on “command and control” in an emergency when you dial 911. Flying would get very exciting if the “command and control” of the air traffic control system wasn’t in place. The Internet wouldn’t exist without the underlying “command and control” provided by the hardware and software systems.

A major reason for many of the problems in New Orleans following Katrina were caused by the fact that the equipment the Louisiana National Guard needed to establish an emergency command and control system was sitting in Iraq.

Having huge stockpiles of supplies in Haiti is meaningless unless someone knows where the supplies are, where they need to go, and has the resources to move them. You need “command and control” to accomplish this.

In a speech at the Davos meeting, Bill Clinton told people that one of the items he really needs in Haiti are 100 full-sized pickup trucks. They have a stockpile of supplies but can’t distribute them efficiently.

This CNN report, Haiti awash in doctors; nurses in short supply, shows what happens when everyone does “their own thing” rather than responding to the needs that exist.

Without “command and control” you get gluts and shortages in relief operations. The need for reliable communications has caused both the Haitian government and the UN to relocate to the Port au Prince airport.

6 comments

1 Kryten42 { 01.28.10 at 10:26 pm }

Very true. I’ve been there before and you are right, people don’t understand. And sadly, for the most part, don’t want to! Given the past few decades of US *intentions*, people today will automatically think the worst and have an innate distrust of anything the USA says or does, and with some justification. It’s going to take a long time and a lot of honesty and good works on the part of the USA to change that perception. I suspect the smart people in the US Military understand this. If they really want to have a chance, they need to get rid of the ideologues and ass-kissers. But I don’t see that happening any time soon.

And also, it makes for a good excuse for Politicians such as Joyandet to press their own agenda’s and more people will listen to these arguments now than would have decades ago. And the USA only has itself to blame. The rest of the World will hold the USA up as the new global bogey-man to further their own agenda’s and I see this happening more and more. The ‘Union of States’ has basically replaced the old ‘Soviet Union’ in the eyes of the World.

2 Bryan { 01.28.10 at 11:49 pm }

I don’t deny the problems caused by the Hedgemony, but give the guys who are busting their humps to help a break. They really are doing their best and almost no one is reporting the facts.

The whole “war on drugs” is a major black-eye for Southern Command, but they know how to provide humanitarian assistance, and the people who receive it remember. Add some context.

It just really ticks me off that people who are constantly complaining about fact-free reporting, and outright lies are participating in spreading this garbage.

The facts are facts, and the truth is the truth. They don’t come in team kit.

3 Kryten42 { 01.29.10 at 12:25 am }

I understand, as I said. And you have a right to be annoyed, I sure would be (well, I am actually). *I* know, and anyone who actually has a clue will know what the US military is doing and applaud it (I do). But we are sadly a minority. 🙂

People today are far more prepared to believe the worst first. And whose fault is that?

I do wonder occasionally if the people in the USA really understand what the price of the past few decades will really be? People such as Minister Joyandet are just the beginning.

The UK also has a similar problem, and even Aus thanks to Howard. But the brunt of it will be directed towards the USA.

And yes, facts are facts, and truth is truth. Assuming one does or can trust the person(s) speaking either. I know I can trust you, and I do. But I also know I cannot trust your Government or media. And I don’t. I’m far from alone in that. Hell, I don’t even trust my own Gov or media! 😆

4 Bryan { 01.29.10 at 1:04 pm }

What gets me about Joyandet is that France has never accepted its part in the mess that is Haiti. They drained money from the nation for decades for “reparations” that they had no right to, but could demand because they were a European power. It was objectively extortion.

The UN asked for US assistance with the airport, and the UN official in charge of the ICAO is French. They should go talk to him instead of starting fistfights in a disaster zone.

5 Kryten42 { 01.29.10 at 7:34 pm }

The UN asked for US assistance with the airport, and the UN official in charge of the ICAO is French. They should go talk to him instead of starting fistfights in a disaster zone.

True and agreed! 🙂 Sadly though, that assumes people (and especially self-interested Politicians — ANY Politician from any country) are willing to be understanding, realistic and reasonable! Never gonna happen! (And I won’t dare assume ‘honesty’ on the part of any politician!) 😉

To be honest Bryan, I think the people with a clue understand the situation and understand just how tough it is there for everyone. At the end of the day, they are the only ones who matter. A self-opinionated ignorant fool will always be a self-opinionated ignorant fool in my experience.

6 Bryan { 01.29.10 at 10:21 pm }

Actually, I wouldn’t care at all, but other people read the distortions and believe them.